Posted by: cindybythesea | November 14, 2013

The Harvest is Ripe – part 4

“When he came near the place the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd  said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!”” Luke 19:37-40.

A day in the vineyards starts early. In the field and ready to go, we would be receiving our clippers for the days work just as the sun was coming up. Which meant rolling out of bed at 4 or even 3 a.m.  depending on where we would be picking that day. With a simple breakfast of cereal, yogurt or scrambled eggs, we would then walk to the vineyards or be transported by bus depending on where our assignment would be that day. Some days, we were on the bus for as much as an hour before reaching our destination.

One of the most striking things about Israel is the rock. It is by far, the rockiest ground, I have ever seen and coming from the southwest, I have seen a lot of rock! And, the vineyards are no exception; steep, rocky and thorny, its amazing to me how these vines were ever planted in the first place.  As I surveyed the incredible amount of rock, shining white rock, which, is everywhere – I was reminded of the words of Jesus in the verse above, and I can see now, exactly why he chose the words that he did. For rock in Israel is something the people certainly would have understood.

Back in the vineyards, we worked in teams as we picked. And, it quickly became my goal (as was everyone’s) to make it through the day without cutting myself at least once with the clippers. Our team leader called out encouragement, as we picked –  “no grape left behind“, he called. For it was  important to collect every grape that we could.  No shoddy work here. His words echoing down the vine as we struggled to pick even the most stubborn ones; the ones, which had grown in a tight fist along the wires that supported them or the hidden ones, which meant climbing directly in to the vine in order to get them. Scratches and abrasions on forearms not withstanding.

For encouragement, team members would take turns walking through the vineyard (while, others were picking) reading scripture, singing praise songs, strumming guitars or playing violin. I loved the violin the most and the friendly chatter that ensued  among the teams, as we worked.

Big, ripe and juicy clusters of grapes. Just waiting to be discovered. Hidden among vibrant colored  leaves in varying shades of green and red – colors made even more stunning in the early morning light.  These were our treasures. And, it was rewarding to see the bins fill up as we picked; eventually to be loaded into big crates and on to trucks, where they would be transported to local wineries for transformation in to award winning wines.

We carried with us bottles of water and lunch was usually brought to us in the vineyards. Grateful for a time a “pull up a rock”  and sit down – lunch was as simple as cucumber, tomato and humus in a pita or some times just PB & J in a pita along with an apple. So, if its true an army travels on its stomach, so does a grape picking team and by the time the harvest would be finished, we would have picked a record 450 tons of grapes, 24 tons in just one day. Now, that’s a lot of grapes! Good job team! And, the vineyard owners were more than happy to show us their appreciation. The details of which, I will share in a future post along with tours to historical Biblical sites and my observations regarding the most important city in the world – Jerusalem and the land of Israel!”

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper, who love thee!  Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

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Responses

  1. Ah-Ha!! My sister Cindy is now well trained for the “HARVEST” !! I am in joyful tears to read that you have returned to us safely by the mighty Hand of God Almighty! The Lord did bend His ear to hear & answer my prayer for you! My heart is so excited to see your posts & I am eagerly anticipating each new addition. You are a peach…wait…no..perhaps a “treasured grape” would describe you better!! I have missed you…..

    Buzz Hugs…Bee

    [Bee! Its so great to hear from you! Thank you so much for writing and for encouraging me in such a beautiful way. You made my day! Love, blessings and buzz hugs back at you my friend! Cindy]


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